Afternoon Joe

Joe Scarborough looks on the bright side of today's Beck-Palin insurgency:

Hoffman's ascendancy in NY-23 is less about Barack Obama than it is about a decade of bloated and corrupt Republican leadership in Washington, D.C. This race gave the same conservatives who helped drive Ronald Reagan's victory and the 1994 Republican Revolution something to cheer about for the first time in a long time. It also gave them an opportunity to stick it to an incompetent GOP Establishment.

This was, after all, same political party that promised to balance budgets in the 1990s, but then turned around and produced record deficits a over the next ten years.

And those same Republican leaders who called for military restraint and a focused foreign policy while Bill Clinton was president then spent the next decade promising to rid the world of tyranny by exporting Democracy across the globe.

Man, I hope he's right.

But when you examine the actual positions of this movement, you find a re-dedication to certain Bush themes: there is no open skepticism of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Kristol Palin is arguing for a massive increase in troops. There is an absolute prohibition on raising any taxes. There are no proposed spending cuts to bring fiscal sanity back from the Bush-Cheney ditch. There is denial of human-driven climate change. There is religious hostility to gay couples. There is increasing insistence on no legal abortion including rape and incest.

I'm glad there is finally a protest against Bush-Cheney. Some of us protested when it could have made a difference. But if it is just a protest, if it has no content, if it continues to placate the Christianist right, if it refuses to tackle neoconservatism in foreign policy, if it fails to offer specifics on spending cuts, then it is hard to take seriously. And, in fact, it is important not to take it seriously.